Service Charges

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    Dear all,I just checked my 2016-17 service charge statement and there is Service Charge Estimate y/e 31-MAR-2017 £ 2,413.74 plus an Annual Major Works Estimate y/e 31-MAR-2017 £1,260.65 coming top to a total estimate of £ 3,473.66.
    Now we now how estimates go and we usually get an adjustment in excess of around £500.00. This is quite scary considering I have not even been charged for the lifts that have been replaced in my building more than a year ago. I am all for better homes and new projects to make Camden council flats better but if we bought a council flat in the first place if because we could not afford another property in the same area. How can we make sure we only pay our fair share and not for the rest of the flats?
    Can anybody help me with this?
    Thank you


    Hi Fabi. Bad news I’m afraid; usually it’s in the terms of your lease that you have to contribute towards lifts (etc) even if you don’t use them. Very annoying but standard practice. The general policy is that the infrastructure cost to your block/estate is divided by the number of properties (not size) and billed accordingly.

    It’s a method of “fair” billing; recent informed advice has been to make sure that when there’s consultation works make sure that the works are appropriate for the block/estate/property – e.g. that they aren’t overspecified and happen only when necessary, rather than too soon/when the previous works for the same area are still under guarantee!

    Camden have now published a Service Charge guide explaining how they divvy up the charges:


    Thank you for your reply. I would sure read through the link you sent me. As for the service charges we pay I just feel the amount is far too hight for what we get but i guess not much we can do.


    …the funny {or annoying} thing is we are charged a management fee to administer {in part} sending us details of future works and ‘observations’ that are received like water off a duck’s back at Camden town hall. Of all the responses I’ve ever seen there’s only one suggestion I can remember from a leaseholder over the years that was adopted by the council. Service charges {not only from the Borough of Camden} across the UK are a multi-billion pound industry and symbolise {along with the whole concept of a lease – what is that for?} gold-plated, rip-off, treasure island {for some} Britain. Owner occupation in the former Eastern Block countries {where my ex-wife came from} involves no lease and a proper democratic process for capital works. We may as well tell Camden to just ‘get on with things’ and save us the time and money of apparently being consulted on matters as they opt for yet another incredibly expensive contractor who’s won out in their so-called tendering process. Why councils don’t work together across London to have their own {in-house} teams of repair and installation people run, say, like Transport for London {who don’t make a profit}, with {like everything} good management I’m sure this would be a better model than continuously having to find and deal with private profit making organisations.


    Hello Guys,

    A few months ago I (finally) got an invoice for just over £3000 for the Gospel Oak Hot Water Scheme (Major Works). Now I have been served with the same addition to my service charged mentioned above for intended major works (lift upgrade). All this while major work and heating upgrades are going on in my building (Waxham) with an estimated bill of £15,000-£20,000. How can camden expect anybody to find potentially £26,500? Also while I’m at it how can £650 of the estimated service charge be for heating and hot water when this has been decentralised and each flat now has an individual boiler?

    Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer advice.


    Not the answer you want, but here are the current guidelines on payment options for larger bills. I think they are being updated currently, but I don’t know whether there will be any significant revision.

    Regards, Paul


    Thanks Paul, what are your thoughts on the £650 of estimated service charge for heating and hot water when it has been decentralised and each flat now has an individual boiler?

    Best Wishes,



    Easy one, MM! Doesn’t make any sense whatsoever (from what you’ve said), so email Leaseholder Services with that question – and then post the answer back here, to inform everyone else in a similar position.

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